Dem 51
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GOP 49
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New Poll Affirms State of the GOP Field

Yesterday, the conservative Club for Growth released a new poll of the 2024 GOP field. In a multi-candiate field, Donald Trump is on top with 37% support, followed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) at 33%. None of the other candidates even breaks double-digits, with former VP Mike Pence in third at 7%, and the rest doing even worse than that. If the matchup is reduced to a head-to-head between Trump and DeSantis, then the Governor handily outpaces the former president, 49% to 40%.

Excepting a couple outliers by pollsters of dubious merit, this tracks very closely with all the other polls of the race. In a crowded, and thus fractured, field, Trump lays claim to a little over one-third of the Republican vote, and that's enough for him to come out on top. Given GOP rules, it would also be enough for him to claim the lion's share of delegates. On the other hand, if the field is not fractured, and the only options are "Trump" and "not Trump," then Trump gets almost exactly the same percentage of the vote, but the not Trump vote coalesces and is enough for victory (and with it, most of the delegates).

Unless Trump dies, or maybe if he goes to prison, it's hard to see what might happen to change this dynamic. That means that the race for the Republican nomination appears to be down to three big questions:

  1. Will DeSantis survive the microscope and become the not Trump candidate?
  2. With the other not Trump candidates get out of the way quickly once it becomes clear it's not happening?
  3. If Trump is denied the nomination, will he launch an independent bid?

Again, outside of death or (maybe) incarceration, we don't know what Trump could do to get more popular than he is, or what he could do to alienate his loyal cult... er, base. Which leaves us with the dynamics, and the questions, outlined above. (Z)

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